Cover image for Beyoncé in formation : remixing Black feminism
Title:
Beyoncé in formation : remixing Black feminism
ISBN:
9781477317709

9781477318393
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
©2018

Austin : University of Texas Press, 2018.
Physical Description:
204 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Contents:
Introduction: F or the Texas bama femme -- Family album: making lemonade out of marriage, motherhood, and southern tradition : Queen bee blues ; Mama said shoot -- "Most bomb pussy": toward a black feminist pleasure politics: Love the grind ; Unapologetically femme -- Calling for freedom: black women's activism in the US south : Freedom, too ; I came to slay -- Outro: I know Beyoncé loves black femmes.
Summary:
Making headlines when it was launched in 2015, Omise'eke Natasha Tinsley's undergraduate course "Beyonce Feminism, Rihanna Womanism" has inspired students from all walks of life. In Beyonce in Formation, Tinsley now takes her rich observations beyond the classroom, using the blockbuster album and video Lemonade as a soundtrack for vital next-millennium narratives. Woven with candid observations about her life as a feminist scholar of African studies and a cisgender femme married to a trans spouse, Tinsley's "Femme-onade" mixtape explores myriad facets of black women's sexuality and gender. Turning to Beyonce's "Don't Hurt Yourself," Tinsley assesses black feminist critiques of marriage and then considers the models of motherhood offered in "Daddy Lessons," interspersing these passages with memories from Tinsley's multiracial family history. Her chapters on nontraditional bonds culminate in a discussion of contemporary LGBT politics through the lens of the internet-breaking video "Formation," underscoring why Beyonce's black femme-inism isn't only for ciswomen. From pleasure politics and the struggle for black women's reproductive justice to the subtext of blues and country music traditions, the landscape in this tour is populated by activists and artists (including Loretta Lynn) and infused with vibrant interpretations of Queen Bey's provocative, peerless imagery and lyrics. In the tradition of Roxanne Gay's Bad Feminist and Jill Lepore's bestselling cultural histories, Beyonce in Formation is the work of a daring intellectual who is poised to spark a new conversation about freedom and identity in America.
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Book 305.42 Tinsl
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Summary

Summary

Making headlines when it was launched in 2015, Omise'eke Natasha Tinsley's undergraduate course Beyoncé Feminism, Rihanna Womanism has inspired students from all walks of life. In Finding Beyoncé, Tinsley now takes her rich observations beyond the classroom, using the blockbuster album and video Lemonade as a soundtrack for vital next-millennium narratives.

Woven with candid observations about her life as a feminist scholar of African studies and a cisgender femme married to a trans spouse, Tinsley's Femme-onade mixtape explores myriad facets of black women's sexuality and gender. Turning to Beyoncé's Don't Hurt Yourself, Tinsley assesses black feminist critiques of marriage and then considers the models of motherhood offered in Daddy Lessons, interspersing these passages with memories from Tinsley's multiracial family history. Her chapters on nontraditional bonds culminate in a discussion of contemporary LGBT politics through the lens of the internet-breaking video Formation, underscoring why Beyoncé's black femme-inism isn't only for ciswomen. From pleasure politics and the struggle for black women's reproductive justice to the subtext of blues and country music traditions, the landscape in this tour is populated by activists and artists (including Loretta Lynn) and infused with vibrant interpretations of Queen Bey's provocative, peerless imagery and lyrics.

In the tradition of Roxanne Gay's Bad Feminist and Jill Lepore's bestselling cultural histories, Finding Beyoncé is the work of a daring intellectual who is poised to spark a new conversation about freedom and identity in America.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Tinsley (Ezili's Mirrors), an African studies professor at the University of Texas at Austin, brings tremendous gusto to her critique of Beyoncé's 2016 album Lemonade. As "the most widely distributed black feminist [work] of the current moment," Tinsley argues, Lemonade "offers a spectacular entry point into black feminist conversations." The album and its accompanying music videos lead to discussions of marriage, motherhood, reproductive justice, and queer and trans politics. In a chapter titled "Queen Bee Blues," Tinsley connects the song "Don't Hurt Yourself" with its sampling of Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks" and depictions of "self-loving fierceness" to the careers of blues vocalists Memphis Minnie and Bessie Smith, who "also sang about [marital] betrayal decked in furs, feathers, and pearls," and the long tradition of Southern black women's blues. Later she explicates the song "Sorry" and its "boy bye" chant, revealing an ode to "black femmes." The book's final chapter focuses on how New Orleans bounce artist Big Freedia's role in "Formation" marked a turning point that allowed "trans* sisters to publicize their brilliant choreographies of gender and survival." Not solely a love letter to Beyoncé or a defense of her feminism, this is an incisive, spiraling celebration of Southern black women. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

Who better to write about Beyoncé's history-making, internet-breaking 2016 visual album Lemonade than professor Tinsley, who teaches the popular course Beyoncé Feminism, Rihanna Womanism at the University of Texas at Austin, where she's also associate director of the Center for Women's & Gender Studies. Tinsley presents this mash-up of rigorous pop-culture study and conversational memoir, which takes up Beyoncé's invitation to consider the U.S. South as a fertile site for black women to reimagine gender, sexuality, and personhood. Of particular interest to Tinsley, who identifies as a queer femme, are presentations of femininity and historical connections in Beyoncé's art, and how the public, media, and scholars respond to them. Divided into three sections that correspond to the album's songs, videos, and progression, the book seems to translate the visual and audio to another plane entirely, and will undoubtedly inspire much rewatching and relistening. Tinsley's many lenses, both academic and personal, make for a rich and exciting study of the modern masterpiece she calls (arguably) the most widely distributed black feminist text of the current moment. --Annie Bostrom Copyright 2018 Booklist